Me (far left), together with Dr. Elizabeth Caluaug, hosted the simple launching of the "Belly Gud for Health: The Executive Edition" at the Department of Health grounds. On stage are the top executives of the DOH: Undersecretary Teodoro Herbosa, Health Secretary Enrique Ona, Undersecretary Nemesio Gako and Assistant Secretary Gerardo Bayugo. They are some of the executives who will participate in the six months waist circumference reduction challenge. (Photo by Jun Angeles)
Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona encourages the Department of Health (DOH) executives to lead a healthy lifestyle and undergo a weight loss program called “Belly Gud for Health.” “Stress that comes with management work can lead to binge eating and lack of physical activity that may result to overnutrition. We don’t want our health executives to suffer the consequences of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), thus we are offering our undersecretaries, assistant secretaries, directors, division chiefs and program managers a light and enjoyable challenge to be fit by attaining and maintaining a desirable waist circumference,” Secretary Ona said.
Waist circumference is a simple and easy measure of central obesity which is the amount of visceral fat (the fat that surrounds the inner organs) among adults and a significant indicator of risk for NCDs particularly heart disease and stroke. The desirable waist circumference is less than 90 centimeters (cm) for males and less than 80 cm for females.
“Belly Gud for Health” is a six-month challenge where the DOH executives undergo nutrition and physical activity counselling, healthy diet, aerobic and isometric exercises, and stress management. They are provided with DOH-produced exercise videos to guide them with some proper workouts. Each executive will also be assigned a personal fitness mentor who will constantly remind them about diet and physical activities to follow. After three months, the executives will be required to join a Fitness Camp where indoor and outdoor fitness and wellness activities are conducted by a team of healthy lifestyle experts.
A monthly monitoring and recording of their waist circumference will be made and monthly recognition and rewards will be provided for those who have decreased their previous waist circumference. At the end of the six-month challenge, the male and female executives who attained the greatest reduction of their belly fats will be declared as winners. Prizes include health products and services, like fruit baskets and gift certificates to wellness spa.
Last year, “Belly Gud for Health” was conducted among DOH rank-and-file employees. From a total of 779 personnel, 362 or 46.5% attempted to accomplish desirable waist circumference levels for the 6-month period. At the end of the challenge, only 10 were recognized as top performers. The top female lost 9.55 cm while the top male lost 5.45 cm.
Secretary Ona also revealed that this year the DOH intends bring the challenge dubbed the "Belly Gud for Health: Executive Edition" to other government offices as well.